SC Orders Ampatuans to Comment on Live Coverage Petitioners

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered members of the Ampatuan clan to comment on the Malacanang-backed petition seeking live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial.The Ampatuans - led by former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his sons, Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan - are the principal suspects in the brutal killing of 57 people, mostly journalists, in Maguindanao last year.In a resolution dated Nov. 23 but released only last Friday, the High Court gave the Ampatuans 10 days from notice to submit their comment to the petition filed by various media organizations led by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).The SC also resolved to consolidate the NUJP petition with the November 22 letter of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Chief Justice Renato C. Corona expressing his support for the live radio and television coverage of the massacre trial.NUJP, together with television stations ABS-CBN and GMA network executives, broadcast and print journalists, members of the academe, and relatives of massacre victims, petitioned the SC to revisit its rulings that disallowed live coverage of the libel case filed by the late President Corazon C. …